When the Workers Party was invited to sign the recent letter from civic unionism we declined because we do not subscribe to the notion of ‘two communities’ or the establishment of a society based on competing versions of nationalism, whether Irish or British.
Nor did we support the open letter signed by ‘civic nationalists’ last December – in fact we were extremely critical of it ( see link below).
Polarise and paralyse This most recent letter from civic unionism does not move the debate on any further, It does not challenge or distance itself from the ‘separate but equal’ mantra which continues to polarise and paralyse our society.
In fact. albeit that many of the signatories would be sympathetic to a non-sectarian and more democratic society, pitching ‘civic unionism’ against ‘civic nationalism’ compounds and confirms the existing problems.
Bill of Rights Our version of a democratic secular society in Northern Ireland is based on the rights of citizens as citizens rather than their allegiance to any religious or nationalist bloc.
It is for that reason that the demand for a Bill of Rights remains a fundamental part of our strategy to establish and guarantee the relationship between citizens and the state, guaranteeing the civil liberties of all citizens, regardless of communal background.
Citizenship The demand for equality and democratic rights is not the property or the preserve of any bloc. It’s ownership should rest firmly with citizens as citizens. Only on that basis will progress be made and citizenship flourish.